For those not yet convinced that Iran harbors genocidal intentions towards Israel, Iranian foreign policy adviser Hussein Sheikholeslam (actual name) said that Israel “should be annihilated” and that Tehran “reject[s] the existence of any Israeli on this earth.”
Extreme rhetoric, to be sure, but there are a few facts about those statements that should give even the most ardent supporters of the Nuclear Iran Deal pause. That is, unless they agree with, or can at least live with, those statements.
First, they were made by a high-ranking Iranian, a former Iranian ambassador to Syria and an adviser to Iran’s Parliament Speaker and former top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani. And second, the remarks were made after the conclusion of the Nuclear Iran Deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
After the conclusion of the deal and before its implementation is a time when officials could be expected to be on their very best behavior. If the deal goes through, their behavior is even more likely to follow their rhetoric.
Sheikholeslam forcefully corrected the British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond at the ceremonial reopening of the British Embassy in Tehran. Hammond said that Iranian President Rouhani had indicated “a more nuanced approach” to Israel’s existence.
Not so! corrected Sheikholeslam. “Our positions against the usurper Zionist regime have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated and this is our ultimate slogan,” he told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday, according to the Iranian news outlet, Fars.
Hammond also, in typical British style, magnanimously stated that past hostilities should be forgotten. Sheikholeslam’s response to that was “Tehran will never forget the past and Britain’s colonialist moves.”
Sheikholeslam said the views he expressed, including that Iran cannot tolerate the existence of a single Israeli on this Earth and that it “will do everything to renew” its support for Hamas were ones his regime made clear to the US and other P5+1 partners during the nuclear negotiations which concluded in February with the JCPOA.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center urged U.S. President Barack Obama to condemn the “unending public genocidal threats from Iranian leaders against Israel at face value. The Iranian regime’s double speak must be immediately denounced by President Obama and the other leaders of the P5+1. Failure to do so will only increase Iranian threats and actions against Israel.”